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Chappell resigns

Published 10:59am Wednesday, September 26, 2012

GATESVILLE – There were some that didn’t think Toby Chappell was ready, experience-wise, to move up the professional ladder as a County Manager.

After their meeting on Tuesday, it’s apparent that the overwhelming majority of the Greenwood County (S.C.) Council was not of that opinion.

By a 6-1 vote, Greenwood’s governing body offered a two-year contract (at $110,000 per year) to Chappell to become their next County Manager. Chappell, who has managed Gates County local government for the past four years, said he has accepted the offer.

“It’s a win-win situation, both personally and professionally,” Chappell said by telephone Tuesday night. “It’s like I said earlier this month when the news broke that I was among the final three candidates for the Greenwood job, this is so much more than a career move for financial gain. This move puts my wife only one hour away from her parents, which allows them to become a more viable part of the life of our four-month-old daughter. Family members play such an important role in the overall development of a young child.”

While he was pleased to have a chance to move forward professionally, Chappell said Tuesday’s news from Greenwood County was bittersweet.

“It’s tough to think about leaving Gates County; this is where my career as a county manager began and it’s a place that will forever hold a special place in my heart,” Chappell stressed. “(His wife) Caroline and I have built some good relationships here with the people of this county. They welcomed us in and made us feel at home and we thank them for that.”

As far as the timetable for Chappell’s departure, he said his Gates County contract called for 45 days after giving his resignation. He was expected to kick-in that clause of his contract by officially resigning on Wednesday during emergency meeting called by Gates County Commission Chairman Graham Twine.

“My contract here calls for 45 days upon resigning, or a lesser amount agreed to by both parties,” Chappell said. “If the commissioners opt for the full 45 days, I’ll honor that….it’s in my contract.”

Despite what some were saying about making the leap to a county six times larger than Gates, Chappell said he was ready for that challenge.

“There’s a misconception that a manager of a small county can’t make a jump to a larger county, that you have to methodically inch your way up the ladder,” Chappell stated. “I feel the exact opposite. I feel that the experience you gain at managing a small county is priceless, simply because you have to wear so many different hats due to an operating budget that limits the size of your staff.

“Here in Gates County, I’m the personnel director, the economic development director and handle most of the staff development,” he continued. “In Greenwood County they have staff to handle all those positions, but I can use the experience I gained here to help them build on what they’re already doing or observe they’re already doing it the right way. Sure, Greenwood is a bigger county with a larger staff of county employees. For me the job there becomes an issue of adjusting to scale and not one of lacking overall skill. It’s the same issues, just at a larger level.”

Even though Chappell was a “rookie” in county management when he arrived in Gatesville four years ago, he said he was proud of what has been accomplished in that short period of time.

“And let me stress right off the bat that this isn’t all about me; rather it’s about we….the manager, the commissioners, the staff and the citizens,” he noted. “What I’m most proud of is the stability we’ve been able to build. There were five managers in the three years before I got here in 2008. That is what leads to inconsistencies; different priorities that confuses the staff to the point where they’re overwhelmed. Now everyone is on the same page and heading in the same direction.”

The implementation of staff development also was at the top of Chappell’s list of accomplishments during his time in Gates County.

“We placed a big emphasis on continuing education; we now perform evaluations, to include what training they personally attended or their staff attended,” he said. “That expands the skill set of our employees, it makes them more valuable to us and to them personally. We’ve gone from having good employees to having great employees.”

Dealing with long-term issues was also successfully implemented during Chappell’s stay.

“We looking at the county’s future more aggressively….things like dealing with the sell of the old Sunbury School, addressing the issues of our historic courthouse and how to save that facility, and implementing a capital improvement plan for county buildings; they all are part of this county’s roadmap for the future,” he said.

He was also proud to say that Gates County is stronger financially than four years ago.

“And that fact includes going through a revaluation year and the great recession,” he noted. “This fact is less to do with me and more to do with our proactive commissioners as well as (county finance officer) Sandy Pittman. I would encourage the next county manager here to watch Sandy’s back because she’s watching the county’s back.”

Despite its controversial status, Chappell said he was proud to see the county moving forward to construct a new public library.

“Look at it long term….it’s a state-of-the-art facility that will last this county well into the future,” he stressed. “It will help educate our children and our adults, and helps small business grow and prosper. It’s the foundation of this county’s future.”

While he was excited over the personal and professional opportunities that await in South Carolina, Chappell said he was thankful of Gates County officials for giving him his first chance to manage at the local government level.

“I would love nothing more than to read or hear down the road that Gates County is continuing to grow and prosper under the leadership of its manager, board of commissioners and staff. I’m happy over what we’ve been able to accomplish here in my four years and I’m excited about the future of this county,” Chappell closed.

Chappell beat out two other finalists for the Greenwood County manager post: former Greenwood County manager Bob Haynie and current Kiawah Island (S.C.) town administrator Tumiko Rucker.

The position became open when Greenwood County manager Jim Kier resigned his full-time post June 30 and has been working part time while Council worked to find a new manager.

Greenwood County, with a population of 69,800, is located south of Spartanburg, SC and west of Columbia, SC.

  • had-enough

    so glad that chappell got that job is sc and will be gone. twine too. its going to be a great day in gates county. jordan you are next.

    Suggest Removal

  • skippy1975

    Who’s say I’m fooling anyone? And who’s hiding? I’ve only met this Anthony once or twice during the meeting breaks. And Mr. T I agree with 100% about being far behind here in the county. For shopping,entertainment or eating out somewhere,we have to go 20 to 30 miles to other counties or state. If remember from what someone told me at one of the meetings they use to have movie theater in Gatesville.

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    • had-enough

      You don’t even see that you contradict yourself in every post Anthony Have a good day alias skippy/mr. T

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  • skippy1975

    Had-enough I don’t hate people. I sometimes disagree of what they say sometimes. And for this Anthony fellow you’re speaking of, I don’t know him very well;however,I do notice how nervous he gets when he gets up and speaks.It’s normal for people to get nervous when they are speaking in public who doesn’t. Some people get nervous when they are pulled over for speeding. It’s just a habit to get nervous.

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    • kathymalaspina

      Give it up Skippy/Mister T/Anthony Felton ..lol.you are not fooling ANYONE but yourself. If you have something to say why hide!

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  • Mister T

    I have ben to a few meetings but know people that go to most of the meetings. Some people sit their and make smart commeents and some film the meetings but never get up and speak and just post things on web sites around how people are bad at there jobs. I dont blame him for leaving becuase people here grip about new things. We are so far behind the time here and dont have nothing for our kids.

    Sense there seem to be soem smart people on here. Can anyone confirm my Eure commissioner has tried to get the managers seat before? He has an ax to grind and i have been told this is why. I missed the last meeting but if you watch the video of the end you will see he already says he has the new person elected on his side. watch it yourself and see. I hope Ms Linda Hoffler is her ownself and dont listen to his mess and she heard his comment. I can not wait to take my kids to the new library in a ferw months. I also hope we get some places to eat out there around it.

    think you Mr. Chapell for what you have done for us. I wish you could have got us that Subway or Bojangles before you left. I hope the citizens are nicer and the fish are bigger down there for you.

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    • had-enough

      ha ha ha. oh now you are mister t. skipper. you cannot spell and are you talking about kathy filming the meetings? obviously you are. thats really none of your business what she does. people have the right to say what ever smart remarks they want. getting up and talking to those idiots does nothing. we have incompetants in key positions and that is going to change.commissioner hora does not want to be a stupid county manager are you kidding me. i am sure hoffler is on his side it is the right side.hey anthony give it up with the disguises we all know who you are.also get real. chappell has nothing to do with getting a subway or a bojangles, well unless he was going to buy a franchise. are you going to come back on as santa claus next. ha ha ha

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      • kathymalaspina

        If he has something to say about ME, he needs to say it to ME! Hiding under an assumed name is really pretty chicken Mr. F.

        If you think Chappell WAS doing such a great job, why don’t you use your REAL NAME like I do. I don’t have to hide behind anything. I am not afraid to state the facts and the truth.

        I can assure everyone that Commissioner Hora has no plans to be a county manager. LOL That is just funny. If he did however he would be the best one we ever had.

        What you refer to as a AX TO GRIND..omg…

        no it’s called HONESTY and a TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT…the likes of Chappell, Twine, Owens and Jordan know nothing about. It’s all about secrets and backroom deals. Jernigan is just a bump, they tell him how to vote before a meeting.

        As far as the video talking about Hofler being on Hora’s side…SO WHAT? No difference then Twine, Jordan, Owens and Jernigan being in cahoots. So what’s your point Mr. F?

        Of course Ms. Hoffler will be on the side of right!She has eyes and ears. The woman is not stupid.

        You have been busy Mr. F, you have kids now..lol to take to the new library?

        As far as me filming meetings and not getting up to speak.It’s none of your business what I do. Why would I waste my time.

        First I can’t video and speak at the same time, and second, whats the point! I get to say MORE on my site and get more things changed, then anyone that stands up at any meeting looking at those idiots.

        Do you think they care what you get up and say???? What have you accomplished, name one thing? All you are doing is taking up time and making the meeting run longer. No one cares what you have to say. Wake up!

        It’s a new day in Gates County. Come December there are going to be even bigger changes and I for one cannot wait.

        Put your big boy pants on Mr. F and use your real name like me. Stop hiding. If you really believe what you are saying, then be proud and stand behind it with your real identity. Enough said!

        Suggest Removal

    • skippy1975

      I agree with you Mr. T 100%.Even thought I missed the last meeting I think Ms. Hofler is going to be great commissioner for our county. She did a great job while she was at the high school. And for the new library what can I say. That’s one best improvements for the county. I believe more is to come for county.I 100% think that Mr. Chappell has done a great job for our county here.And for this Anthony, I don’t even know him. I’ve only seen him at the meetings speaking sometimes. More people like him need to get up and speak. He maybe a little nervous but who cares. Who’s not nervous when he or she gets up and speaks. I hope I haven’t step on anyone’s toes.

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      • had-enough

        really anthony now you are responding to your own comments. ha ha ha ha ha get real-will you! and anthony ALWAYS says hope i didn’t step on anyones toes just like on your facebook page.

        Suggest Removal

  • kathymalaspina

    Oh now it makes perfect sense. Skippy is Mr. Felton. LOL

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  • skippy1975

    Tell you the truth I’ve only been to 2 of the commissioner meetings,and not many people get up and speak.Why is that? I’m new to the county;in fact,I’ve been here for 3 years and still loving the county.If I had something to say there I would.

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    • pumpkinpie

      Maybe that’s the problem, only two meetings. There are many people that get up to speak and many people who are shut down before they speak by a certain commissioner who is soon to be on his way out! Have you attended night meetings or day meetings? That would have an affect on how many people speak because most cannot attend day meetings. Plenty of people have had plenty to say to the BOC but if it isn’t what they want to hear you are shut up real quick. I am glad you love the county. So do many people that have been here most or all their lives but that does not mean you have to love some of the things that go on here or the people doing them. He (Chappell) has never had the best interest or the wishes of the people here high on his priority list. He will leave this mess he has started and forget we ever existed. We will be left to pay for this Commerce Park and all the expense and headaches it brings with it. Maybe now with Chappell and Twine leaving more people will get up at meetings and have their say without the fear of being publicly humiliated.

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  • pumpkinpie

    Well I for one can’t see where Chappell has done the county any favors. He has cost us an enormous amount of money and has wasted too many tax dollars. His legacy will be exactly that! I am glad he’s going and as for the 45 days he is obligated to I cringe to think of the damage he can leave on us! Mr. Chappell has cut his teeth on us and has left bite marks that may very well never go away! We will be left to look at a commerce park with NO COMMERCE and a library that stands as a sore reminder of local government gone egomaniac under a delusional leader! Go far far away Mr. Chappell and don’t let your office door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

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  • kathymalaspina

    It’s GREAT!.People in our county couldn’t have gotten better news. The citizens are happy.

    Twine gone, now Chappell. It’s Christmas already. To had-enough, you are right. The stores were buzzing with talk.

    To Skippy, are you serious?

    Since you think Chappell has done 100% job (your words) please give me some information to back that one up. LOL

    Tell me ANYTHING that idiot has done for the people of Gates County except waste our tax dollars. The man is incompetant as a county manager.

    Gates County was a stepping stone. He needed this job long enough to get anything on a resumee.

    I said when he first started he would be out the door soon as he could. Thank goodness I was right.

    The man NEVER paid a single tax here. He NEVER owned a home! His cars ( except maybe the new one) were not taxed here. get real Skippy!

    You are on here calling people FOOLS…maybe you are Chappell himself…one of the whoyaknows…

    you are in a group all alone if you say Chappell did anything good for Gates County.

    Ride down 158 and take a gander at the library only 325 people wanted, that got shoved down our throats. It’s sitting 10 feet below road level. Better start saving for your canoe to get to it.

    The Commerce Park project that is already a failure.

    Olds has them in every county and none of them are doing anything.

    The sewer line that will go to nowhere, yet we are having to pay higher water bills to finance it.

    Greenwood you are next. He will be hiring all his buddies
    to do the projects…be damn a honest bid..or hiring your locals.

    You have my deepest sympathy. One thing I would bet. Those councilmen there will not put up with the disrespect and attitude that Chappell expressed to citizens and his superiors, the commissioners.

    My phone was ringing off the hook last night. Some from
    ex commissioners who were fooled by him and readily admitted it..they were oh so happy that he is history.

    Will be waiting skippy for your response. Please enlighten me on anything! Will be looking forward to it.

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    • had-enough

      love your post. you said it well as always.

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    • skippy1975

      The only reason why you complain is because he does his job 100%. When someone mention no one wanted a library,do you have a certain number of how many? How do you know what he pays for or his taxes? Are you watching him? Come November I know who I’m voting for and who I’m not. All I can do is laugh at you. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

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      • had-enough

        hey skippy arent you telling a fib? you are at lots of meetings speaking. Anthony Felton. whats with the fairy tale.you have lived here all your life.are you afraid to use your real name and say something about chappell. stop hiding. both your boys will be history. twine and chappell. as you say. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha johnny hora is the best thing that ever happened to gates county so why dont you just admit it and stop hating on him.

        Suggest Removal

  • had-enough

    thank ya Jesus. so glad that worthless good for nothin is leaving. poor greenwood sc, they do not have a clue what they just hired. he won’t last long as soon as he shows his true hateful arrogant colors they will be kicking him to the curb. hey why wait 45 days? leave now and do us all a favor.i was down at one of our local stores and there is a celebration going on. good news travels fast.the citizens are estatic! hey skippy you are the ONLY one that thinks he has done a 100% job. why dont you throw him a going away party!

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    • skippy1975

      No disrespect,but the only reason I can think why you want him out or don’t like him is because he does his job.

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  • skippy1975

    Mr. Chappell you’ve done a great 100% job for our county. I wish you the very best,and God Bless.

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    • had-enough

      hey skippy are you mrs. chappell or twine? lol

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      • skippy1975

        Hey had-enough I’m really laughing (ha ha ha ha ha)about your stupid comments. He’s done a 100% job for county,and some of the people who act like fools like some I’m not going to mention just don’t understand that. So ha ha ha ha all you want to.

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    • had-enough

      sorry skipper nothing more stupid then your comments and i have no problem telling you that. poor SC. they do not even know what they have done.

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      • skippy1975

        Your comments don’t bother me. I don’t care what you say. I let words come into one ear and out the other.

        Suggest Removal

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